Amendment History for the Tenure Policy

Amendments to the Faculty Tenure policy in 2007 (adoption date: June 8, 2007) and 2011 (adoption date: June 10, 2011) changed aspects of the tenure and promotion principles, standards, and processes. This Appendix identifies the changes most relevant to the tenure and promotion process and explains applicability of the various versions.

The Faculty Tenure policy is applicable as follows:

  • Except as indicated below, the current version of Faculty Tenure, reflecting the most recent revision in 2011, defines the employment conditions for faculty and governs decisions about tenure and promotion, regular and contract faculty appointments, disciplinary proceedings, and faculty rights  at the University of Minnesota.
  • Faculty Tenure subsection 7.11 Criteria for Tenure describes the university criteria for tenure. Changes were made in the policy in 2007 and units were required to adopt revised “7.12 statements” to reflect the new university-wide criteria. Subsection 7.11 did not change in 2011.
    • Probationary faculty members appointed after the adoption of the 2007 changes are evaluated according to the current 2011 subsection 7.11 Criteria for Tenure, which is the same as the 2007 standard.
    • Probationary faculty members appointed before adoption of the 2007 amendments to subsection 7.11 may choose to be evaluated with the old version of the unit’s 7.12 statement. In that case, they are also evaluated with the 2001 subsection 7.11 Criteria for Tenure. The faculty member’s election will be documented in a memorandum of understanding. See section II.A of these procedures.
  • Faculty Tenure subsection 9.2 Criteria for Promotion to Professor was adopted in 2007; before that time, Faculty Tenure did not contain any criteria for promotion.
  • Faculty Tenure subsection 7.12 was amended in 2007 to require unit 7.12 statements to include indices and standards for promotion to professor. Section 9.2 is applicable to promotions of all associate professors to the rank of professor.
  • The 2011 amendments to Faculty Tenure included: updating definitions of academic freedom and responsibility; specification that one vote rather than two separate votes be taken on tenure and promotion of assistant professors; expansion of the reasons for granting extension of the probationary period; and clarification of the circumstances when instructors may be appointed on the probationary track. All such changes are applicable to all probationary faculty.

The table below summarizes the most relevant changes to sections of the tenure regulations from 2001 to 2011. Readers are referred to Faculty Tenure for the complete text of the appropriate sections.

Section of Tenure Regulations2001 version2007 version2011 version
7.11 Criteria for Tenure Candidate must demonstrate “potential to contribute to missions of teaching, research, and service” “Has established . . . a distinguished record of academic achievement”; “demonstrated scholarly or other creative achievement and teaching effectiveness must be given primary emphasis”; No change from 2007
7.12 Departmental Statement Requires each unit have a document (the “7.12 statement”) that contains indices and standards to judge whether candidates meet the criteria for tenure in 7.11. Requires the unit 7.12 statement to include the indices and standards for promotion to professor in addition to criteria for tenure; must be approved by tenured and tenure-track faculty. Requires the unit 7.12 statement also include goals and expectations for each unit for the annual review of tenured faculty.
9.2 Criteria for Promotion to Professor Did not exist Added; Candidate “added substantially to a distinguished record of academic achievement” and “established the national or international reputation (or both) ordinarily resulting from such distinction and achievement”. No change from 2007
5.5 Extension of the Probationary Period Faculty member may request permission for an extension for two conditions:  parental or caregiver demands. Added a third reason for extension – personal illness or injury of the faculty member. Faculty member provides notification to extend the probationary period for parental reasons; faculty member requests permission for caregiver demands or personal illness or injury; a total of three years of extensions is allowed.
6.3 Relation between Tenure and Promotion of Assistant Professors Two votes taken by unit – one on the question of tenure and one on the question of promotion. No change from 2001 Single vote taken by unit on tenure and promotion for assistant professors on probationary appointment
6.22 Permits probationary appointment of instructors No change from 2001 Specifies that instructors may be appointed for up to two years if they have not completed their terminal degrees; this period counts as part of the probationary period.

In addition to the changes outlined in the table above, sections VII and VIII were added in 2015 and section IX in 2017. Section VII contain the University’s established procedures for faculty moving appointment home, section VIII explains the procedures for disability accommodations, and section IX provides information about the process for modifying active service duties for faculty with new parenting responsibilities.

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